For the third straight year, athletic footwear sales have increased, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) International’s 2003 edition of The Athletic Footwear Market Today, a trade publication that tracks retail spending trends. American consumers spent almost $16 billion on athletic shoes in 2002, an increase of 2.5 percent over the previous year. Here are some other trends reported by SGMA:
NEW LIFESTYLES Inc., a company committed to fostering healthy lifestyles, is attempting to stir the public to fitness through one central philosophy: Take 10,000 steps every day. The company asserts that doing that can do wonders for one’s health by burning 2,000 to 3,500 extra calories per week, increasing one’s levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and providing other benefits.
In 1993 Brandon Flowers made a major career change. A catastrophe claims representative and supervisor for years, when the corporate climate shifted in a new direction, Brandon decided he would, too. This former college shot-putter and discus thrower had never lost touch with his active lifestyle, and since moving to California he had discovered personal fitness training. “This attracted my attention as a unique way to motivate people toward a healthier lifestyle, and also an opportunity to be a teacher and mentor,” Brandon says.
To look at Joan Tufenkjian today, you’d never suspect she was once completely outside the realm of fitness. The 70-year-old group fitness instructor is the epitome of health and wellness, and her class participants at the Mount Auburn Club in Watertown, Massachusetts, depend on her for instruction and guidance. She is an instant inspiration to many, based solely on the fact that she is teaching group fitness at an age when others reconcile themselves to a less active lifestyle. However, Joan wasn’t born with a pair of cross trainers on her feet.
What inspires your passion for fitness? A natural love of movement? A dramatic event in your life? The worry about health and aging issues? There are many models for exercise and healthy eating, but you already know that your passion, as well as your knowledge, is a “secret weapon” in motivating physical activity.
The goal of reaching 10 million health club members by 2010 was referred to by many speakers at the recent IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show in March. How to achieve that goal? Speakers referred to retention-oriented programs, well-trained staff and customer service.